Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest novelist of the Victorian era and the creator of some of the world’s most memorable fictional characters. Aged 31, and already famous across the United Kingdom and internationally, he wrote A Christmas Carol a short story that would be come out just before the Christmas of 1843.

Charles Dickens by Daniel Maclise
Charles Dickens, painted in 1839, four years before he wrote A Christmas Carol.

Read A Christmas Carol.

You can read all of A Christmas Carol on our website. Use the chapters tab on the navigation bar to access them. If you want the location of particular A Christmas Carol pages or chapters for reference or academic purposes you can use our study links page.


A Christmas Carol tells the story of bitter old miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his remarkable transformation over Christmas night as a result of supernatural visits by his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come. You can read more in our summary of each of the five staves (chapters) that make up this classic short story.


From fire to fog and from chains to death, Charles Dickens uses imagery and symbolism within A Christmas Carol to convey some of the central themes within the novella, such as family and redemption.


Some of the most memorable quotations written by Charles Dickens come from A Christmas Carol. Discover our fully referenced archive of over eighty A Christmas Carol quotations. Read more about the context in which a quotation was written, explore profiles of characters that say them and have you chance to rate each.


A Christmas Carol was initially published in an edition of 6,000 copies on 19th December 1843 and sold out within a few days. Reprinted numerous times the story has never been out of print this date. It has remained a much-loved traditional Christmas tale.


Seeing the success of the novella, another publisher, Lee and Haddock, produced a pirated version that sold for only twopence. Charles Dickens sued the company. Although he won his case, Lee and Haddock declared themselves bankrupt and Dickens had to pay £700 in costs and law charges


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